CFL re-ups rights deal with ESPN

CFL set to extend media rights deal with ESPN

“I’m always mindful of what’s going on in the world around me,? CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said of the spring football upstarts. “But it’s more important to us that we execute our plan.?
Financial terms for the multiyear deal were not disclosed though Ambrosie said the new deal represented “an improvement in economics for us reflective of last season’s ratings.?
ESPN2 coverage of CFL games averaged 163,000 viewers last season, a 19 percent increase from the previous year.


I wonder what the dollar value is?

My only concern is putting as many games as possible on the network .

Having a regular schedule that goes into the fall and all play off games . A game of the week on ESPN 2 and a secondary game on ESPN News .

Whether on EsPN news or EsPN 2 they have fair viewership . Maybe ESPN main for the Grey Cup Game would capture more exposure .

I hope there is some real money involved here, no more freebies for exposure only?

Amen, brother.

They got gamed.

Care to elaborate?

Interested to hear more details on this

I frankly can’t see ESPN paying much more than $300,000 for the TV rights, along with a share of the revenue from the 65 games live-streamed on ESPN+. Much less than the $5 million Naylor projected from Mexican TV (or was that pesos?)

I hope they insisted on something that gets more games with a routine schedule .

That’s where they can expand the base . Even though I am a streaming media type I don’t feel at this point in time appointment viewing has brought us that far yet in the masses going that way .

I would have rather they went with Dazn on line then insisted on a game of the week on ESPN 2 and a secondary game on ESPN news that followed the season right thru to the playoffs then gave our Grey Cup needed publicity on the main ESPN .

DAZN would have been more of what they want to achieve with there CFL 2.0 .

You have to wonder what kind of money they see in the future .

Mexico’s league is in it’s infancy but there is lots of interest in the NFL .

Germany has lots of interest player wise and is number one in Europe for participation .

A 7 pm start here is 1 am there so not sure how much you could really get with such a limited audience in one of the larger football interested countries .

The fall games with a 2pm start on Saturday and Sunday would get you 8 pm prime time .

I can see why the NFL is popular with their Sunday 1 pm starts . Germans could follow the league with 7 pm games local time .

At least 20 games on one of ESPN’s television networks and the rest streaming on ESPN+ from the press release. I’m sure most of the 20 on TV front loaded in June, July and August when ESPN/ESPN2 don’t have all the NCAA games to cover.

The new deal calls for at least 20 games per season on one of ESPN’s linear television networks, usually ESPN or ESPN2. That includes at least one division final and the Grey Cup championship game. It will place at least 65 CFL games on the direct-to-consumer service, ESPN+. The CFL says every game will be available.

Other than money (which we do not know), the deal is essentially the same as last year’s. About 20 games on linear televison which to ESPN2 and ESPNews are fillers during their slow season. As soon as NCAA football starts, the CFL is forgotten. Just like last year, the other 60 games will be on ESPN+. There will be zero games on the main ESPN channel as the games do not have high enough ratings. Mentioning that all games will be available in the U.S. is no big deal as that has been the case now for all of this decade.

That 19% increase to 163,000 sounds good until you consider that they only counted 19 games, and one of them happened to be Johnny Manziel’s debut which was viewed by a CFL in the U.S. record of 400,000.

If we just talked only ESPN+ numbers, I would guess the average audience is in the low to mid tens of thousands.

Sounds like they added 4 games to the traditional ESPN networks from the previous deal .

Surprised he couldn’t get one time slot that can sustain the coverage thru the season on the traditional platform .

If he couldn’t he should have looked for a US carrier for a game of the week right thru the season . There really is no need to keep all your games with ESPN they are a rebroadcast of TSN’s games so the games could be sold or even time purchased on one of the plethora of networks that exist on US cable and satellite and then sold to advertisers on both sides of the border .

I also like the idea of DAZN carrying the CFL . They are 5 dollars less a month than TSN and have tons of content .

Notch on a scroll bar.

How I wish the CFL approached NBC Universal, which has only the Sunday Night Football game and a few playoff games and no FBS college football, instead.

I don’t see ESPN ever committing to regular broadcasts of CFL games on one of its regular channels so long as they essentially control the narrative on college football and have substantial clout on all the stupid bowl games through December.

I’m moving to a streaming option this spring, which is either FuboTV or Sony Playstation Vue. The latter has some ESPN stations but not ESPN+ for which I’d have to pay more on top of already giving up more channels otherwise for the same price.

I’m better off with FuboTV, for I don’t need or care for ABC/ESPN and am no longer a fan of college football, and then watching the CFL games and an occasional good Monday Night Football game in the NFL the same way as since 2009 via a pirate stream.

The streams have been far better since 2016 in HD quality too.

No idea now, but going back 5-10 years ago it was given for free in effort to build the base. Kind of a “try it and see” thing. Which is not a bad move to get your foot in the door. A couple years later it was 260k for the season, but ratings were about a quarter what they are now…like 45k average. It has obviously grown a fair amount. You see those early season numbers and it is pretty obvious why trying to move the season up a bit is a big deal. If they can get that 400-500k for the bulk of the season, you are probably talking a few mil of a deal. Even if the numbers surpass TSN’s you won’t get the same money, as the appeal is bang for buck. Can’t be greedy or they try something new.

OR just try a different network with a better regular schedule , enhanced marketing and well researched numbers for the purposes of exposure to your demographic your trying to appeal to when growing the leagues revenue .

They’ve done other networks. This has been the best partnership so far. Add in the TSN connection and the synergy just makes sense

That was many years ago when they tried before streaming and the plethora explosion of specialty stations particularly sports stations in the US .

From my understanding ESPN plus is not a stand alone streaming service like TSN direct where it replaces your satellite or cable service .

Nothing wrong with selling the rights that are left on the streaming ESPN+ to a network on traditional cable or satellite ?

Those rights should be sold separately as they are on a different platform that requires the user to pay extra on top of there cable or satellite service again unlike we have here with Sportsnet or TSN where you can sign in for free .

No need or business case to restrict your exposure like that .

If they don’t want a major network backing them, which imo would be a mistake on many levels, then they could always promote yare…which is fabulous. Or…partner up into DAZn. Seeing as the CFL is actually growing in viewership by pretty impressive numbers though, I think it would be a mistake of rather epic proportions to change the recipe at this time…even if they could make more in the immediate future.